Villagers in Tjefunye, Tsholotsho are up in arms with a businesswoman operating a bar in the area for hiring dance groups who perform explicit dance moves.

The bar run by Laurine Dlamini usually hires various dance groups to entertain revellers.

However, it is the performance of sexually suggestive dances that has irked villagers.

CITE was shown some videos and pictures showing the dancers from a popular Bulawayo-based dance group performing raunchy dances with some children as part of the audience.

“When she first came here, she was renting and she eventually got a stand through the village heads who are now denying that they gave her the stand, so we don’t know how she got it. The challenge now is that she is inviting dance groups who are dancing inappropriate dances in front of school children,” said one villager.

The villagers also accused the businesswoman of selling sexually enhancing pills to her patrons.

“We hear that she is now selling sex-enhancing drugs, this person has been chased from so many places, it seems she was evicted from Brunapeg where she operated the same shop but it seems the law is protecting her. If we try to engage the councillor, he has no time to look into our area.”

The villagers said they have tried to engage the businesswoman to observe the operating hours but she does not follow the guidelines.

“We also discovered that she doesn’t have a license to sell liquor and has no plan for the shop, we have tried to reason with her but nothing is coming out and the councillor is in favour of it since his shops are also benefitting and his children stay far from these shops so he is not feeling any pain,” they said.

Contacted for a comment, Ward 19 Councillor Pios Texas Ncube confirmed that he is aware of the matter.

“This thing didn’t start now but the particular incident occurred on Good Friday and we have been trying to resolve the matter, her shop was recently closed last week,” said Cllr Ncube.

“She used to rent in one of the shops and ended up getting a stand through the village heads. As a council, we can only give her a notice to ban her activities, if she continues with them, we can then take a legal action because we expect such activities to be done in closed doors with an age limit of no persons under the age of 18 but for her she does that for children as young as six years to 14 years, so it’s really embarrassing to our community,” said Cllr Ncube.

Reached for comment, Dlamini said it was the first time such an incident happened in her shop and she is not proud of it.

“That video was taken around 2 am in the morning, so how do I control them and I won’t be expecting children around those hours. When those videos were taken, I was in the kitchen cooking, I don’t approve of such dance moves. It’s not the first time I have invited dance groups, but for that group, it was their first time, there were also other bands during that night performing. The other groups I have invited before know the kind of dances I approve of,” said Dlamini

She said the videos do not depict how she wants to be presented as a businesswoman since there are controversies around her presence in the area.

“When I saw those videos, I requested one village head to call a meeting so that I can apologise to the community. I even requested my uncle to speak with the villagers on my behalf, I also don’t approve the videos but what is now disturbing me is the hatred because if it was a normal situation we were going to seat down and I apologise since I had already requested for a meeting.”

Dlamini added that she understands the cultural shock within the community but there were other underlying issues before the videos circulated.

“ Ever since I got to that area around 2018/2019, the villagers, particularly those based in South Africa have been against me and there has been controversy ever since .I am now worried about my safety as some shops have been burnt down but this is my first time operating in a rural setup. Those people are feeling threatened that I am not from the area but I am from Somnene even though I didn’t grow up there,” she said.

She dismissed allegations that she is selling sex enhancing drugs and that she has been evicted before from other areas while operating a shop. CITE